Carreg y Foel Gron, Ffestiniog: Guide to Traditional Routes

Carreg Y Foel Gron: OS 745 427

Upper Tier

A good collection of faces ranging from 25m slabs to 12 m leaning cracks and arête. The larger south facing section is visible from the Ffestiniog to Penmachno road. Parking is by LLyn Dubach below the crag. A short stroll brings you to the main slabs. To find the upper left tier follow the miners track to where it leads behind the large slab area.

The rock is sound and of high friction, protection is usually good and there is hardly any fixed gear. The upper left tier can be lichinous and one section even has a wonderful waterfall for large parts of the year (only affecting one strange route.) As the miners track contours around the back of the main slab area, the left hand upper tier and its far north buttress come into view. The collection of huge boulders and flakes forming the back of the hill (Dol y Moch crack area)on which the main slabs stand is also visible to the right of the track.

Far north buttress: OS 740 429

Follow the track to its end and contour north across the hillside to the easily visible buttress with two prominent arêtes. About 10 minutes easy stroll.

End ActionAAAE.jpeg

1.*Mysterious Girl  Hard Very Severe 5a, 16m, 15.9.2012

The wall left of the prominent arête is taken direct to finish up the open groove. Steep and satisfying.

2. **End Action   E3 5c, 18m, 15.9.2012

From the toe of the arête go directly up. The last gear is in the short vertical quartz crack just above halfway. Follow the perfect arête to its top. Keep cool.

3.*The Cement Garden E2 5b, 18meters, 15.9.2012

A direct line up the centre of the wall to the right. Start by a short groove and go direct to a narrow ledge by the holly tree. Commit to the thin vertical crack above and finish up the centre of the steep headwall.

.4.Breezy Boho Hard Very Difficult, 15m, 15.9.2012

To the right is a short sharp arête (unclimbed.) The short wall and grove just right of this is followed to a grassy finish.

Upper Tier

The Upper  tier  starts at its left end with an overhanging wall split by two vertical deep cracks (the right of which is The Crack ) and a thin diagonal finger crack to the right of this wall (Toxic Haste.) The deep chimney crack on the left is unclimbed and is a botanical garden with doubtless great interest for some.

Next right is a lovely slab bounded on its right by a V corner. Then a collection of short arêtes and walls continues rightwards to the white wall area.

1. The Crack  E5 6a, 12m, 1996

The awkward wide crack up the leaning wall with a tricky and scary finish.

2.**Toxic Haste  E5 6a, 12m, 17.3.1998

The diagonal leftwards rising finger crack past a good peg and above a spiked boulder!

3. The Rambler Difficult, 12 m

From the V-corner on the right of the slab traverse up left along the top of the leaning wall to finish up the wide crack.

4.*Quiet Introductions Very Severe  4c, 12m

A crackline leads up the slab. Once it ends go up left over a bulge to finish.

5. *Slab Direct  E1 5a, 12

Continue direct to the top up the centre of the slab on excellent rock.

6. Half height fright Very Severe 4c, 12m

The centre of the wall right of the V-corner past a rock scar. Less frightening since the flake fell off.

7 ***The Sharks Fin Hard Severe 4b, 12m

A tremendous arête climb which although short is perfect all the way.

8.Joshs corner Very Severe 4c, 12m

The narrow corner until at three quarters height step right onto the arête to finish direct.

8a. Dead Tree arête Hard Very Severe 4c, 12m

Start up the arête direct to join the above route as a finish.

9. Yardi Yardi Yardi E3 5c, 12m, 11.08.2007

Takes a direct line up the steep pocketed wall just right. Sustained with good gear but slightly run out at the top.

10.Indecision Collision E3 5b, 15m, 10.7.2007

The inset arête left of Sweet Summer Evening. The grade assumes you are leading with cams. Climb the dirty corner then step up left onto a ledge under the arête. Take the left hand side of the arete on good, if spaced, pockets to the top.

11.*Prescription in Herdoo E4 6a, 10m,  10.7.2007

The west facing wall left of Sweet…. A deadly start above a backbreaker of a boulder . Make a move up the dirty corner the follow a shallow finger rail before a few powerful moves on pockets gain a flake hold. Continue much more easily on pockets to the top.

12. *Sweet Summer Evening E3 6a, 12m, 1990s

A boulder problem pull through the overlap to an easier finish.

13.Too many children Very Severe 4c, 12m

The crackline next right gathers plants and may need a clean.

14. *Not enough babes  Hard Very Severe 5b, 12m

Take the thinner crack next  right. 

15. Sheep God Hard Very Severe 4c, 15m, 15.8.2010

Start two meters right of  the thin crack of Not Enough Babes up a prominent, slim, left –facing groove. At the top of the grove is a grassy footledge. Step right the go direct up the steep wall to the wide break. Climb the pocketed headwall above trending slightly left at the top.

16.Dangermoose Hard Very Severe 4c, 6m, 10.07.2007

Take the slight blunt rib left of Perygl with little thought for protection.

17.Perygl Hard Very Severe 5b, 12m

Pull steeply onto the arête and continue boldly to the top.

18.Finding a job Hard Very Severe 5b, 12m

Climb the crack two metres to the right.

To the right are some scruffy short walls before the white waterfall crag. Several stakes sit on the plateau above, which provide a welcome belay.

upper tier topo rightAAAE.jpeg

19. Sannau drewllyd Very Severe 4b, 15 m, 1995

The groove in the left hand side of the clean white wall 

20. *Merddyn Emrys E1 5b, 15m, 1995

The crack and wall giving fine, steep climbing leading directly to a grassy top out and stake belay well back .

21. The Earl of Meirionnydd  E2 5b, 15m, 1995

An eliminate leaving the easy corner to tackle the upper centre of the wall past a peg and some grubby rock .

22. Fairley’s Patent Hard Very Severe 5a, 15m, 1995

The open corner starts allright but quickly deteriorates into vegetation.

23. Arch Nyw Very Severe 4c, 15m, 1995

The line of the waterfall! Atrocious. Dry only during a “ biblical drought.”

24. *Ribedi res E4 5c,15m, 1995

A fine line taking the leftwards diagonal overlaps to escape through the roof via a crack.

25. **I Mewn i’r Arch a Nhw E1 5b, 15m, 1995

Start up the corner to below the big overhang. Make exciting moves rightwards to gain the edge and finish direct.

26.*Line it Up E2 5c, 15m, 6.9.2012

The white wall next right has a left facing groove in its upper half. Start by the boulder below the white wall and go boldly and directly up to join the easier groove.

27. Assifetta! E1 5b, 15m, 1995

The original way to the easy groove starts two  meters right up some cracks.

28. *Be Ddudodd O! Very Severe 4b,15m, 1995

Climb direct into the lovely niche and exit up its right crack. The alternative finish up its left crack is just as good.

29. *Pocedi Perffaith E1 5b, 15m, 1995

Very steep climbing up the wonderful pocketed black-streaked wall past a peg on “perfect pockets”

30.*Chop sided  E3 5c, 15m, 6.9.2012      

The final edge on the right sits above a 40 meter drop into the deep quarry below so secure the belayer! Start two meters left of the final edge and go direct up on ledges to the small overlap. Somehow stretch past this with marginal gear to gain the vertical crack up and right. Finish direct.

South Slabs

foel gron south WideAAAE.jpeg1.Cracked Slab Very  Difficult, 24m

The crackline on the left of the main slab is gained by passing the small overlap at the start on its right. 

2. **Tiger feet Very Severe 4b, 24m

The centre of the slab is boldly followed to the top.

3.Elephants Crawl Very  Difficult, 24m

Follow the inset slab to below the final corner. The corner is well protected and has a tricky exit.

4. Shakin’ Stevens Very Severe 4c, 22m, 1980s

Start down  and right of Elephants Crawl at a pointed block. Climb the V-groove above the block then slightly right up pockets to a grass ledge. Finish up the rib.

5. *Caractacus Dementicus  Hard Very Severe 4c, 22m, 1980s

Climb directly up the centre of the wall on small positive holds to a slight bulge at 6meters. Negotiate the bulge and continue up the easier slab above to join the nose of rock that forms the right hand edge  of Elephants Crawl.

6.* Inspiration Very Difficult 

The left side of the pinnacle via the deep crack. Follow this to the top and finish by jumping across the chasm behind the pinnacle. To reduce rope drag belay from the top of the pinnacle.

7.*Bedrock  E1 5a, 20m, 11.7.2007

The dark pocketed wall 2 meters right. Go boldly up the wall to the left edge of a perched flake. Continue more easily directly to the top and finish with a leap.

8.*Collodd allwedd twll ei din  E1 5a, 20 m, 1980s

Start just right by a slim leftwards ramp and go direct to the right side of the flake. Pass the flake and continue direct to the top.

9. **Wyau Pen Doman  E3 5c, 18 m, 1997

 Start in the overhung niche and climb straight through the top of it to finish up the lovely arête above. Belay on top of the detached pinnacle.

Chimney Sweep  V.Diff, 20m 

The deep chimney behind the pinnacle with an awkward belly flop over the chockstone.

 Hen Dwll Drewllyd E1 5b, 20 m, 2001

This peculiar route can be found around the back of the pinnacle and inside the       chimney. It climbs the obvious diagonal crack in the back wall of the chimney.

The buttress next right  has several good short lines .

10. Rock for brains E2 5c, 15 m, 11.7.2007

The slim wall forming the left edge of Sickle. Go direct up the centre of the wall to where it steepens below a small sloping shelf. Gaining and passing the shelf on its left side brings good holds on the top within reach. Pull up onto the top of the highest grass ledge.

11. ***Sickle E5 6b, 15m, 1990s

A classic test of finger strength and cunning gear placements up the thin and perfect arête.

12.* Crad’s wall E3 6a, 15m, 1990s

Clean open climbing up the centre of the block.

13. Indecision Very Severe 4b,18m

Another chimney with a good crux near the top. 

14. Groove Hard Severe,18meters    

Follows the arête immediately right of the chimney and takes the direct line to the top via the left hand side of the inset block and the shallow groove .

15. Interesting Drug HVS 5a,18m, 1997

The stepped ramp line next right . Interesting moves around the arête lead to a slabby wall . Make thin moves back left near the arête to finish.

Two very small crags next right have a few short routes.


This is the small steep cracked wall just right of the Sickle Cell area (all of the routes are much better that they first appear and quite steep)

Turnpike Arête Very Severe 4b, 6m, 1994

 The obvious arête starting on the right hand side  

Full Bench Cut E3 5c, 6m, 1994                                                                                                                  The steep groove on good holds with some long reaches 

Raised Camber Crack E1 5b, 6m, 1994                                                                                                                The obvious curving crack

JOSKIN BUTTRESS is about 20 meters further right:

Joskin E1 5c, 6m,  1997

 the left arête of the buttress starting on the left hand side 

Pentrefeelyarse E2 6a, 6m, 1997

 The obvious niche and arête

Trails ‘r Us E2 5c, 6m, 1997

 The left wall of the corner it quite technical and not a little precarious. 

Congol y Wal Very Severe 4c, 7m, 1997


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